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A physical bar graph displaying the frequency of different terms over the past century, as documented by online search tools.

May 2009


St Paul's School for Boys

Centograph is a kinetic bar graph that was developed for the 500th anniversary celebration of St. Paul's School for Boys. It was designed to encourage users to reflect on possible connections between new and emerging technologies and other academic and social disciplines.

When users enter a search term on an online interface, Google News Archive is queried for related news articles from the past 100 years and returns a histogram of articles sorted according to date.  That graph is then made physical by pushing and pulling the bars on the graph.

This allows users to view the ‘shape’ of the past century in relation to different key words—from progression in computing technology to times of war and peace to changing sources of energy.

Centograph is now a permanent fixture in St Paul's School for Boys Computing Department. 


Ben Burry, web programming